OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Jalisa Outlaw

Jalisa Outlaw

Staff Writer

If Starkville HIgh School’s girls basketball team was to have a chance to compete for championships this season, Jalisa Outlaw was going to have to take another step as a player.  

Outlaw is going above and beyond in many ways this season as she and senior Amaria Strong each have pulled their weight to get the Lady Jackets to 15-3 for the season and a perfect 4-0 in Class 6A, Region 2 play so far.  

“We have two starters from that championship team with she and Amaria Strong,” SHS head coach Kristie Williams said of Outlaw. “She's taking the shots when needed and pulling the defense and finding her open teammates. That part of her game has really developed this year. The last couple of years we’ve had a lot of experience ahead of her, but now it’s on her and Amaria’s shoulders.”  

This past week was among one of Outlaw’s best as she helped her team to an 11-game winning streak with two wins. It started with a 41-35 district win over Northwest Rankin in which Outlaw dropped 21 points and she had a monster performance in a 60-43 win over Ripley with 29 points in the Robertson’s Sportswear Lady Challenge in Booneville. Those outings earned her OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week for the third time this season. 

It’s a trend of good performance from Outlaw, who has always been stellar but has been taking the next step as her high school career is winding down.  

“Here lately, she has really stepped up," Williams said. "I think she is playing well right now. I continue to stay on her to put that added pressure on the defense and she’s stepped up tremendously on that side. She's been a good defensive player, but I need her to be great so she can be polished and ready to go as she leads us to the next level.”  

The regular season has just three games remaining with two district contests as Outlaw looks to end things with yet another regular season district championship. Whatever happens from there will be another goal checked for the talented player with a strong bloodline.  

Williams has seen Outlaw grow her game, but also her leadership ability. It’s a tribute to what she learned from players before her and how she’s trying to give back to those that will follow. Williams hasn’t tried to make her a leader. She’s let it naturally progress.  

“I don’t ever expect a player to be anything different than whatever they are,” Williams said. “On the court, she’s not this super loud player, but at practice, she’s talking to her teammates on the side and letting them know what we’re expecting. She's vocal, but she’s a silent but loud leader in her actions.” 

Outlaw and the Lady Jackets are back in action on Friday night at the Beehive as they host Madison Central in district action.